Pharmacists urge families to take proactive steps now to safeguard family health for the new school year
Getting the family ready for the start of a new school year involves more than shopping for new clothes and buying school supplies. It’s a time to be proactive about health. Pharmacists are urging families to take the following proactive steps now to safeguard family health for the new school year.
Dispose of Expired / Unused Medications
Leaving expired and unused drugs in your medicine cabinet can put children at risk for accidental ingestion, misuse, or overdose. Pharmacists recommend checking the expiration date on all medications in your medicine cabinet and in your first aid kit.
“Most things are usually good for about a year from when you opened them,” explains London Drugs Pharmacist, Jason Remillard. “But there are exceptions. Some medications can even become dangerous after expiration. For example, the common antibiotic tetracycline can be toxic if used after the expiration date.”
Customers are encouraged dispose of medications by bringing them to the pharmacy. Proper disposal helps avoid harming water sources, wildlife, pets, and the potential for misuse and abuse.
Replenish Your Medicine Cabinet
During the school season it is wise to have the basics on hand. This includes acetaminophen for fevers, aches and pains, one product to disinfect cuts and scrapes, allergy medication, and an anti-diarrheal product. Cough and cold season often starts in September so have symptom relief products on hand.
Pharmacists also recommend having a fully stocked first aid kit. Inspect old boxes of bandages and hygiene products as they often degrade and must be replaced as this can compromise the sterilized packages.
Update Allergy Prescriptions
“When your child goes off to school again, it’s important to have a plan in place, so that their medication is accessible to them and their teachers in case of emergency,” suggests Remillard.
Talk to your pharmacist about the new options available like Allerject and replace all expired auto injectors. Bring expired auto injectors to the pharmacy for proper disposal.
Prevent Illness With Proper Hand Hygiene
Hand washing is important all of the time but particularly when there is a change in routine – such as going back to school. Busy environments like schools and workplaces provide an ideal breeding environment for illnesses and infections such as a cold, the flu, pinkeye, strep throat, lice viruses and stomach bugs.
“Prevention through proper hand washing is key to avoiding the common conditions children catch at school by touching multiple shared surfaces,” says Remillard.
Correct hand washing involves approximately thirty seconds of warm water with soap all over the hand. If water and soap are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and ensure you rub your hands until the product is dry.